FANELIAL

Fanelial stepped out of her cavern, spread her arms, took a deep breath and dived off. Without a scream she landed in the deep water pool below. The forest surrounded her little haven and Faníal felt safe there. It had been years since she had last lived among others of her species. Human kind, though she couldnít bring herself to name them kind.
A pitiful sound escaped from her lips and made her wince. She couldnít talk and that had made her different. Along with her innate control of basic magic which had made her destined to be an outcast. Sometimes Faníal wanted nothing more than to return to the villages where she had lived as a child, after all she hadnít chosen her separate life. But she knew that if she returned that it would be as a shadow, she would never fully be the same as the others.
A cry sounded through the forest and Faníal looked up from her swim. Whoever had cried had sounded troubled. It wasnít the first time that humans had wandered close to her home. And as always, she felt compelled to go see them, follow them until they went away again, hurting herself with something she would never get.
Quickly Faníal rose from the pool and started to make her way toward the cry. Living in the forest as long as she had, she had learnt how to move silently and how to find paths no other human could see.
Half an hour later Faníal reached the human party. But it was an unusual one. Two large beasts were standing in the center of an open space, one was green and the other was orange-yellow-purple with flamed wings. A human was standing next to one while the other human was laying on the ground, her legs oddly twisted.
"How are you feeling now." the standing woman asked.
"The same.. it hurts like hell."
"Just keep Dresynith under control. We need to get you out of here Maira."
"I still canít believe they ditched us like that."
"Our dragons warned us, though they could have tried harder." The tattooed one answered.
Suddenly the last one arched her neck and seemed to listen.
"Thereís someone here." She said.
"Those two troublemakers?" Maira asked.
"No, someone elseÖ Ryuen says he senses her, but cannot see her."
"Senses?"
"Apparently she is semi-magical and you know how his fatherhood changed the way he looks at things. He is sure that she is as worthy as the two others."
"Is she dangerous?"
"He assures me she isnít."
"Can we trust him?"
"She might be the only one around who can help you."
Draca turned herself toward the trees and called: "Hello? We arenít here to harm you. We need some help though."
Faníal looked at the two and noticed the bad open fraction of the woman named Maira. They were strangers and not all too normal-looking themselves, but could she trust them? They had said they werenít alone, though apparently they had miscalculated the ones that were with them. Maybe that was a good point. It were mostly the good persons who got swindled.
Carefully she took a step forward and felt a reassuring male presence. Still she was surprised at the strength of the presence. Some people had felt this way, but none had been present so strongly. Slowly she started to feel a female presence and another one that was dimmer, distant as if she wasnít focusing.
"Dresynith is worried." The male presence told her.
They could understand her? Faníal looked around to find this human. No-one else had ever made her feel like this.
"Ryuen is standing right in front of you." The tattooed woman told her.
But Ryuen was a male. There was no man in front of her. A loud snort interrupted Faníalís thoughts.
"Donít let him hear you think that. You arenít looking for a human, but for a dragon."
Faníalís eyes drifted up to the strange beast she had seen before. As she looked into his eyes she knew that she had in fact felt him.
"Are you for real?" she directed a thought at the beast that called himself a dragon.
"Of course I am. I live."
Maira called out in pain as she tried to get up to get a better look at the candidate. After all, she was the head finder and she should give her blessing. Dresynith roared and lashed her tail at the trees.
Faníal called out when the pain of the dragon hit her.
"Careful!" Ryuen told her, blocking the connection, "You are getting too involved, you might get hurt."
"I can help." She finally looked at Draca who had a very interesting mind, partly human, partly the draconic way she had sensed in Ryuen. Faníal knew her message would get through. Carefully she stepped toward the wounded woman and placed her hands on her legs.
Maira felt the pain ebb away and then a strange twisting motion. When the young woman got back up, Maira could move her legs again.
"Oh! We should definitely take her!" she called out, making Faníal crouch back to the edge of the forest.
"She doesnít mean to kidnap you." Ryuen told her soothingly, "She just wants to invite you to meet more of my kind, and even, make a lasting bond."
"Is that possible?" she asked, looking big-eyed at the dragon.
"How do you think I found mine?" Ryuen asked, "You would certainly get approached."
"Well if the last two you picked up did that to your friendís rider, then I think you guys are not too picky."
"Ah, but the clutch isnít all nice, there are some meaner dragons as well, and we found those two for them."
"And got in trouble."
"Yes." Dresynith said. "Thanks for helping my rider."
"No problem."
"I think you could also find the other two for usÖ"
"You still want them?"
"Our mission is to find good bonds, it should come before everything else. Would you let harm be done to children of your kind."
"No."
"Neither would I, though I wonít be friendly."
Faníal laughed, a strange sound that had always bothered her, but didnít seem to scare the two strange humans and their dragons.
"Oh, you would like Lantessama." Draca added, "Weíve got all sorts of strange people there."
"Letís find Deverang and Stadurm before they break down this world."
"Follow me." Faníal nodded.

***

HATCHING
Fan'al walked through the forest and found a lonely egg with broken shells around it. A clutch had been here, so whatever dragon was in the egg, it wouldn't be a bunny. This was just a statement, Fan'al had nothing against bunnies... well maybe they were a bit too cute for her taste. Certainly it had not one thing to do with the fact that she had had to skin rabbits from the moment people had ran her out of her town.
The egg started wobbling and hatched, spilling another shadow glider twin on the ground. These two, one male and one female, had silver streaks running on their body. The female hatchling turned to Fan'al and said: "I am Loren. My brother Ryttance has to stay here a bit longer, would you mind waiting for his bond to show up?"
"Of course not."


si
lver-streaked shadow Loren

***

ADULTHOOD
Loren flipped her flimsy wings back and swished her tail. She felt edgy. She felt irritated. She felt like she could kill a herd of cattle, chew them up and then have room to suck the life out of everything that crossed her path. She tossed around, trying to get comfortable.
"What's the matter Loren?" Fan'al asked, being influenced by her bond's state of mood.
"It's like I want to do something but can't just yet."
"You've eaten this week, haven't you?"
"But I'm still hungry. I need the energy."
"You guys don't hibernate, do you?"
"No."
"Maybe it has something to do of being a shadow-dragon crossbreed."
"Maybe."
"You sound awfully short, dear."
"It's because you're NOT helping."
"If you were human i'd say you've got PMS."
"If I were a dragon, I'd say i was in heat."
"That could be it you know."
"Flying?" she asked.
"Does that give you purpose?"
"It lessens the need..."
"Then a flight it is."

***
Lantessama Isle
Also read Deverang and Stadurm's Story